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How to Define Your Vision And Purpose


Skills of Resilience Series

Vision and purpose are essential components of our life symphony. An orchestra of answers to multiple questions that work together to create harmony, and something intensely meaningful to you. It’s your answers to these questions that create clarity and coherence, enabling the right way forward to present itself.
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How does life feel when you lack vision and purpose?

It’s hard to maintain motivation and momentum when you’re without your true direction. It can feel like you’re just going through the motions, you might feel down, dissatisfied, frustrated and irritable. With enough self-discipline you might still reach some personal and professional goals that you’ve set for yourself; but feel strangely unfulfilled. You’re merely surviving…plodding along, not realising your full potential.
Everyone has the capability to achieve the goals that really excite us; to create a life that we love, and are proud of. Once you do so, it’s not to say everything is going to be all roses. However, it is easier to bounce back from the inevitable setbacks and adversities that we all experience, and stay on the right track.
“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Bryne
So, how do you go about unpacking your life’s passions and defining your “why?” Here are the questions that will help you tune your vision and purpose. Dig deep and take your time answering, this is not something to be rushed.

Questions to uncover your vision and purpose

  • What is your purpose in life?
    It’s a big question! Purpose is that innate ‘thing’ that we do that we never get tired of doing. We do it easily and feel good afterwards. It could be teaching, helping people, building things, exploring the world. It’s generally best to keep it in broad terms and then work to shape it in greater detail.

    Vision is what we see when we are doing our Purpose.

  • What is it you’re passionate about?
    Helping others? Healing? Teaching? Exploring? Creating? Connecting? Building things?
  • What is it that lights you up when you think about it?
    What gets you excited. What are you naturally drawn to that warms your soul?
The next questions are natural extensions of the first.
  • What really matters to you – what do you care passionately about?
    What is it that has you paying attention and expressing an opinion? What is it that ‘gets’ you every time, and makes you want to lean in and step forward.

When trying to pinpoint your purpose, you’re looking for the intersection of three key considerations.

  1. Your natural skills, strengths and gifts
  2. Your interests and what you LOVE to do
  3. A current or future need in the world for what you care about, and what you can offer
friends talking about their purpose in life

Don’t be afraid to ask

It can be a very useful and powerful question to ask people who are close to you and whom you trust. These questions are not coming from ego, they are coming from a place of asking what they see is your essence. Their answers may surprise you.
Close trusted friends and family will often see things in us that we don’t see clearly ourselves. Go ahead and ask them.
“What do you see as my natural gifts?” “What do you appreciate in me?” What do you see are the real authentic parts of me that other people value and benefit from?”

friends talking about their purpose in life

What happens after you’ve defined your purpose?

Once you know what your purpose is – what really matters to you – then formulate the vision. The strategies, plans, goals and actions to live your purpose, to follow the path that gives your life deeper meaning.

Clarify and give shape to what living a life aligned to your purpose and passion looks like. What needs to happen to allow you to step into a life that would give you delight? What is the order and priority of the steps?
Answering these questions opens up the door to self knowledge, self appreciation and sets the stage for growth.

Working through these questions with someone can be helpful. Reach out to those around you to see what support is there. Perhaps a coach or mentor can help guide you, particularly when significant changes are involved. Each stage of the process is a valuable stepping stone to resetting, refocusing, and beginning to write the life symphony of your choice.